Q: For many years I have experienced frequent, heavy sweating from the palms of my hands. My overall health is good but I am embarrassed to see my doctor about the sweating problem. Could this be something serious?
A: The heavy sweating sounds like Palmer Hyperhidrosis, one of the group of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) conditions that afflict a small percentage of adults and children. Hyperhidrosis is most often seen from the armpits, soles of the feet or palms of the hands. In most cases the disorder does not lead to more serious health problems, but it is certainly a frequent source of embarrassment, discomfort, and social awkwardness.
While normal sweating often comes from stress, heat and physical exertion, research shows that hyperhidrosis is inherited. It tends to run in families. A variety of non-surgical treatments has produced good results for many patients. These include over-the-counter and prescription antiperspirants, lotions and powders, and electrical wave stimulation. After extensive research trials, the drug Botox was recently approved for treating hyperhidrosis in the U.S. and some other countries. Surgical treatment should only be considered for those who don’t respond to non-surgical treatments.
The best place to start is with a visit to your doctor; he or she is best able to diagnose your condition and recommend the best course of treatment for your situation.
Q: I often wake up in the middle of the night and cannot fall back to sleep again.
What should I do?
A: Waking up in the middle of the night, or sleep maintenance insomnia, is typically caused by sleep apnea, snoring, stress, or depression.
Reducing stress is one way to achieve a more peaceful and lasting night’s sleeptry taking a warm shower, listening to soft music, reading,or body stretching. And reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet.
When you wake up in the middle of the night, remain in bed at first and turn on soft music. If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and read or listen to music until you feel sleepy again. And try not to think about your sleep difficulty. If the problem continues, see your doctor for further evaluation.
Q: Does ‘detoxing’ really improve your health?
A: Detoxification usually involves giving up certain foods, fasting, and colon cleansing to remove toxins that have accumulated in the body.
Though many people who’ve tried detoxing report feeling lighter, more clear-headed, and more energetic, there isn’t much concrete evidence to show that detoxification really removes toxins from the body. Most toxins are naturally removed from the body by the liver and kidneys via urine and stool.
Fasting can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, anemia, low blood sugar, and irregular heartbeat, which makes it potentially dangerous, especially for people with certain medical conditions. Before fasting or detoxing, consult your doctor.
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